The Amazon Kindle reader is a great e-book reader and its worldwide 3G access is one of its great selling points.
But it’s greatest failing? It seems to be one of the very few ebook readers on the planet that cannot read the EPUB format.
EPUB is an open-source e-book format that’s not only free from patents and used on most devices, it can also be used commercially as it supports (dare we say it) digital rights management or DRM. But Amazon seems to have decided that it would rather you only buy and read its books, rather than read anything in EPUB format.
That said, reading any of the millions of EPUB ebooks available on the web on a Kindle is actually possible. All you need to do is to convert them into a format that is supported by Kindle. And the tool you can use to do that is Calibre.
It can be a little tricky to get used to at first but it handles conversion to and from a wide range of formats, including converting EPUB ebooks to Kindle format.
While Kindle ebooks you purchase come in Amazon’s AZW format, the Kindle actually supports a number of other formats including the MOBI format.
[Amazon purchased ebook maker MobiPocket a few years ago and incorporated its MOBI format into its own AZW ebook format, but because the two are so similar, Kindles also handle the MOBI format as well.]
Converting EPUB ebooks to MOBI format
When the new screen appears, you’ll see two drop down boxes at the top-left and top-right of the window. Set the Input Format to EPUB and the Output Format to MOBI. Click the OK button and the ebook will be converted.
You just then need to load that into your Kindle device using its USB cable and you should now be able to read your EPUB (now MOBI) ebook on your Kindle.
This process works for all Kindle devices.
Calibre is free and can be downloaded from the Calibre website.